The President of APAS is pleased to see the expanded coverage in place for the Federal Government’s Livestock Tax Deferral Program.

Under the program producers in the designated areas who sell off part of their herd can defer the tax to the following year when they start to rebuild the herd.

Todd Lewis says they started calling for an announcement on the program back in June when they realized there was going to be a feed shortage.

“I think we’re going to work with the Federal Government going forward here to try and improve the program and make it more responsive. Let’s get these announcements made during the tax year as quickly as possible, so that we’re not making announcements on January 30th a month after the end of most producers’ fiscal year.”

He notes while they are pleased to see the expanded coverage there will still be some producers that will fall through the cracks.

He says maybe there should be something in place that if 75% of the province is considered to be eligible for a tax deferral that the whole province should be designated.

Lewis is also pleased with news out of Alberta that he feels could be precedent setting here for farmers with oil or gas wells on their property.

The Supreme Court of Canada handing down a decision this week that upheld an Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that says a trustee for a bankrupt Alberta energy company cannot walk away from unprofitable wells on agricultural land without cleaning up.

The Bankruptcy trustee Grant Thornton Ltd had taken over Redwater Energy Corporation and was ordered to comply with the end of life requirements to make the abandoned properties environmentally safe.

Lewis says the oil industry continues to have issues staying fluid in some cases, with the pipeline and prices, but the companies still have responsibilities to leave the land in good environmental shape.

“ I think this is an important thing for surface rights in our province and across the country. I think it’s a good day for people that have oil and gas activity on their property.”

Saskatchewan’s oil and gas orphan wells list for the month of December shows over 670 wells have been abandoned.

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